By Stanley James, Business Editor
ZIMBABWE’s gold production increased by more than 180 percent in January to 2,8 tonnes from less than a tonne during the same month last year, setting the tone for huge foreign currency earnings for the country this year.
Data released this Monday by Fidelity Gold Refiners (FGR), the country’s sole authorised buyer of the bullion, showed that despite January being traditionally a slow month due to rains, there was a record increase in deliveries.
Small scale miners, who form the core basis of the gold mining industry value chain, continued to dominate overall deliveries of the commodity.
FGR data revealed that large scale mining companies which are strategic in the entire value chain also contributed to the overall growth in deliveries.
The yellow metal buying unit says the returns on offer also had an impact in terms of the deliveries.
The latest data also reflected that if the trend continues, Zimbabwe will be in a position of achieving the target of between 36 to 40 tonnes of gold this year.
Last year, more than 29 tonnes of the commodity were also produced by both small scale and primary producers.
The 2022 monetary policy statement is upbeat of a continuous rise in gold deliveries that will also ease foreign currency pressures in the economy.
The statement notes that gold is the key export foreign currency earner in Zimbabwe followed by tobacco, nickel, platinum and chrome, among others.